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Gheel in Belgium.

Gheel in Belgium has been twinned with Tydavnet and Monaghan. The common connection is St. Dympna, who is understood to have lived and worked in both areas. The twinning has brought the two areas close together and each year visits are paid by delegations from the areas. This year is is the turn of Tydavnet and on Thursday May 13th the group gathered at Tydavnet Community Centre prior to departure. They return on Monday, May 17th.

While in Gheel the group will have a full programme of events and they will stay with host families. Some of the travellers have visited Geel before and know many of the inhabitants there. So for them it will be a matter of renewing old acquaintances. For the others it will be a new experience but they will find a warm welcome.

The first evening (Thursday) and early part of Friday will be spent meeting the host families and resting after the journey. On Friday afternoon there will be an Official Welcome in the City Centre and this will be followed by Gheelamania, and we are looking forward to a full account of this item when they return.

The 15 May begins with Mass in St. Dympna’s Church. There is an event then for Mentally Ill and the group will visit an exhibition in the City Hall. The night will be taken up at a Party hosted by the Mayor Frans Peeters.

On the 16th there will be a Procession to St. Dympna through the streets of the City with a place of honour for the Monaghan visitors. ON Monday then the group prepare and depart from Gheel. Hopefully we will get a full report on their return. No doubt Martin Mckenna will take all in and have good recall. Three County Councillors - Seamus Treanor, Paudge Connolly and David Maxwell travelled with the group as did Fr. Sean Clerkin.

Our photo below shows the group prior to departure at Tydavnet Community Centre.